Remember cookbooks? Back before pinterest and google and food blogs entered my life, I had a couple of cookbooks that saved my life. I still have a shelf full of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, but I don’t open them up much since there’s always something exciting on the internets.
Today I was on a quest for comfort and familiarity, so I pulled out Vegan Meals for One or Two, which I purchased shortly after I moved out of my parents’ house. Turns out, it’s available on Amazon (check it out here). This is one of the books that taught me to cook. The recipes are simple and being able to make small portions of these dishes meant I wasn’t swimming in leftovers for weeks after I cooked something for myself. My copy is food-stained and falls open to a recipe for garlicy tofu, which I can remember bringing to at least one class potluck in college.
This is a favorite recipe from that cookbook, which I’ve experimented with over the years. The original recipe calls for orzo (which led to a brief obsession with orzo in my mid-twenties) so this is my first attempt with gluten-free pasta. I made a few other tweaks, omitting mushrooms (obviously) and adding chopped broccoli, because I’ve had some in my fridge and couldn’t decide what to do with it.
- canola oil (to coat your baking pan)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked gluten-free pasta (I used bionaturae)
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup + 1/4 cup mozzarella-style Daiya
- 1 cup vegan sour cream
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp margarine
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Or use leftover pasta if you’re the kind of person that has leftover pasta in your life. I am not.
While the pasta is boiling, chop your broccoli and red pepper. Coat your baking pan with oil (I used a loaf pan this time). Preheat your oven to 400.
Drain your cooked pasta and throw it in a bowl with all the other ingredients EXCEPT the 1/4 cup of Daiya and the margarine. Stir it all together so your pasta and veggies are coated in fake dairy.
Transfer the mixture to a baking pan, sprinkle the 1/4 cup of Daiya over top and dot with margarine.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. This melts everything together but leaves the veggies somewhat crisp. Feel free to bake it longer if you’d like those suckers thoroughly cooked.
I’m not sure this would translate to a non-vegan audience. It’s gooey and delicious, but Daiya is not cheese. My girlfriend is getting braver about it, but most of the time, I think she’d rather live a cheese-less existence than eat the fake stuff.
So here’s the finished product. The best thing about this cookbook is that it inspired me to eat food containing fresh vegetables off a pretty plate for lunch, instead of chips and salsa consumed while standing in the kitchen.
Next time around I might cook a full two cups of pasta for this dish…the pasta to goop ratio was a little off for my tastes. Delicious, just very, very goopy.